Packed classrooms are unfortunately becoming a norm for many departments. Students can cope with crowdedness, but being excluded from the crowd is another story.
Reduced course availability, dropped courses, waitlists and the PTA process are enough to prevent some students from graduating on time. One student mentioned in Tuesday’s article “Students scramble to enroll in required courses” must push her graduation date from spring to winter 2011. Her required class is not available in the spring or summer.
In many departments, larger class sizes and fewer course offerings are not unseen results of budget cuts. These departments are not offering classes because they can’t. Oftentimes, the effects that students see in the classrooms come from fewer staff.
Amid the recent fee hikes, students are even more frustrated at what they are getting out of the university. Students are paying more money, but they are not receiving more benefits. On the contrary, they are getting much less than they used to. In some cases, students pay one or two quarters more in tuition in addition to the standard four years in order fill only one requirement.
The university needs to ensure timely graduation in an effort to better serve students’ needs. Either this is the unfortunate effect of inflation or just a problem that needs to be addressed with alternate solutions.
Courses in high demand, especially required courses, must be accounted for through more paths. Many departments, for example, make exceptions for students who need that one last class to graduate. It’s time for other departments to do the same.
The rush to sign up for classes is coming soon with a new round of registration on Feb. 8. Students will have to plan further in advance, making sure to check course availability lists that change quarter to quarter. If students can’t enroll in classes they are paying for, the system must be reviewed.